Parking lot accidents 101: What steps to take
Even though a parking lot may seem safer than the street, this isn’t necessarily true as 20 percent of all car accidents occur in parking lots, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports. With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, we wanted to take time this week to discuss the topic of parking lot accidents.
Our first post discussed tips for avoiding parking lot accidents, our second post discussed liability in parking lot accidents and today’s post will outline the steps a person should take after being involved in a parking lot accident.
Following any type of car accident, it’s important to take the following steps to best protect your rights to fair compensation from the other driver or your insurance company.
- Make sure that everyone involved in the accident is okay, and call for paramedics if necessary.
- Call the police to report the accident if damages involve $1,000 or more. (When in doubt, report the accident to police.)
- Get as much information from the other driver as possible, including: name, address, phone number, email address, make and model of their vehicle, insurance company and policy information. Also take the contact information for any witnesses.
- Take photos of the accident scene and all vehicles that were involved.
- Inform your insurance carrier about the accident and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Note: If you returned to your car to discover that it had been hit by a driver who left the scene, notify the police as this could be considered a hit and run. Also, look for witnesses in the area who may have seen what happened and take down their contact information. Then, proceed to contact your insurance provider and a personal injury lawyer.
You are not required to speak with a personal injury lawyer following a car accident, but it is usually a good idea no matter if fault has been established or not. While your insurance company has its own best interests in mind, a personal injury lawyer fights for your rights only.
For more information on the steps to take following a car accident in California, please visit our Sacramento Car Accident Attorney page.